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The Everyday Prayer

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Icon of the Holy Face
Church of Sant'Egidio, Rome

Memory of St. John, apostle and evangelist, "the disciple whom Jesus loved" and took Mary, with him as his mother.

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Glory to God in the highest
and peace on earth to the people he loves.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

John 20,2-8

and came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. 'They have taken the Lord out of the tomb,' she said, 'and we don't know where they have put him.' So Peter set out with the other disciple to go to the tomb. They ran together, but the other disciple, running faster than Peter, reached the tomb first; he bent down and saw the linen cloths lying on the ground, but did not go in. Simon Peter, following him, also came up, went into the tomb, saw the linen cloths lying on the ground and also the cloth that had been over his head; this was not with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in; he saw and he believed.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

John is among the first four disciples called by Jesus. Together with his brother James, John was mending his nets in th eboat when the Lord passed and called him. Since then he became Jesus’ disciple. According to the tradition, he is known as the disciple "whom Jesus loved". It was John who had placed his head upon Jesus’ breast during the Last Supper and who, along with Peter and James, accompanied him on the night of his agony in the garden at Gethsemane. Although John ultimately returned to the cross where he accepted Jesus’ invitation to receive Mary as his mother, he fled and abandoned Jesus just like all the other disciples. In today’s Gospel we see John running with Peter toward Jesus’ tomb on Easter morning. Being younger than Peter, John arrived at the tomb first, saw the shrouds on the ground, but did not enter. He waited for Peter. The Church Fathers comment that love runs faster and arrives first. John, however, knows to wait for the other brother before entering in together. As soon as he entered, he "saw and believed," the evangelist notes. He realized that Jesus’ body had not been stolen (for he saw the linen wrappings lying there). And he believed. His testimony, recorded in the fourth Gospel and in the Letters, is entirely centered upon the proclamation to love God and one another, which was understood as the heart of his Teacher’s message. It is told that John, advanced in years, would be carried on a chair into the assembly of Christians and would always repeat the commandment to love. And to the question why he continued to repeat it, he responded: "Because it is the commandment of the Lord! If you put it into practice, then it is enough."

Prayer of the Christmas season